BankUnited to Help Borrowers Out of Option Arms

August 8, 2008 No Comments »


Struggling mortgage lender BankUnited today announced a plan to help thousands of borrowers ditch their option arms and refinance into more secure loan programs.

The so-called “Mortgage Assistance Program” will allow borrowers to refinance without worrying about prepayment penalties, regardless of where they find their next mortgage.

Additionally, the company is offering “minimal” loan modification fees and says it will reach out to customers through multiple outreach channels to get borrowers in more affordable mortgages.

“This is one of the most sweeping, broad-based programs of its kind,” said Ramiro Ortiz, BankUnited’s president and chief operating officer, in a release. “This program will literally provide people with a map (MAP) to find their way back into a more financially stable environment for their home mortgages.”

The company said it plans to refinance thousands of option arm customers over the next six months, with the bulk located in hard-hit Florida.

Just over a month ago, Wachovia announced a similar offer to their option arm customers, pledging to scrap prepayment penalties as the company phased out the program entirely.

Countrywide and Washington Mutual also scrapped the infamous loan program after rising delinquencies ravaged both banks.

Shares of BankUnited closed up 16 cents, or 12.40%, to $1.45 in trading Friday on Wall Street, but remain far below their 52-week high of $19.69.

(photo: futureshape)

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